Travel Leaders Network always looking to innovate
As John Lovell tells it, “people are prioritizing travel” and there’s no sign that things are slowing down. For the Travel Leaders Network that ‘prioritizing’ translated into an exceptionally strong performance in 2023 and a 2024 that’s already off to a great start.
Lovell, the president of the Travel Leaders Group, was in Toronto this week – along with senior executives that included Stephen McGillivray, CMO, Travel Leaders Group, Roger Block, president, Travel Leaders Network, Christine James, vice president, Travel Leaders Network Canada, and Cory Voss, CIO, Travel Leaders Network – to update the trade here on a batch of new and ongoing initiatives.
And it was all good news as Lovell celebrated the fact that the demand for travel is indicative that the role of the travel advisor is “stronger than ever.”
In fact, Lovell called it the “renaissance of the travel advisor” as demand is not only strong for the current year, but continues to show strength into 2025.
Roger Block, president of Travel Leaders Network, observed of 2023 that “our growth, in terms of bringing in new, high quality members, was unabated,” with the group welcoming 300 new members in the U.S., while 42 members were added in Canada.
Christine James, vice president of Travel Leaders Network Canada, was quick to point out that those new Canadian additions “were really good quality advisors with a good book of business.”
In this respect, both Block and James noted that the new members represented CDN$28 million in preferred supplier sales.
As Block sees it: “Travel advisors are undergoing a renaissance and are seeking out new partnerships for their businesses. We can offer advisors of all sizes and specialties access to amazing lead generation programs, marketing opportunities, technology and more. Not only am I excited for these agencies to take advantage of our offerings, but I am also looking forward to the fresh ideas and energy they will bring to TLN.”
One of the offerings that Travel Leaders Network agencies are now able to take advantage of is TobyAI, an artificial intelligence engine designed specifically for supporting travel advisors
Travel Leaders Network has teamed up with Travel Research Online (TRO) to introduce TobyAI to its members, with Stephen McGillivray, Chief Partner Marketing Officer of Internova Travel Group, the parent company of Travel Leaders Network, explaining: “We are big believers that Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be helpful when creating marketing materials and can improve efficiencies for members so they can concentrate on selling and serving clients.”
McGillivray continued: “While nothing will ever replace the human expertise that travel advisors bring to the table, it is important that our industry embraces the ways AI can streamline work and help advisors run their agencies. We’re always looking for ways to innovate and this tool does exactly that.”
In a typical session with TobyAI, TLN advisors can:
- Craft itineraries
- Draft a new bio for Agent Profiler, TLN’s lead generation tool
- Write client correspondence
- Curate engaging social media posts
TLN members will also be able to access DALL-E 3, the ChatGPT tool that generates images that adhere to the user’s text-based prompts.
Travel Leaders Network also expanded its Leaders Alliances to four communities that include:
- Luxury Leaders Alliance
- Honeymoon & Destination Wedding Leaders Alliance
- Independent Advisor Networks Leaders Alliance
- Technology Leaders Alliance
Created to let members with similar business strategies and sales learn from each other and industry experts, the Alliances represent some of the travel industry’s top travel sellers in luxury and romance travel, as well as host agencies and technology experts and ended 2023 with over 500 total members participating.
All Alliance members must apply with a nomination from their agency owner. Applicants go through a rigorous vetting process, with TLN staff evaluating each candidate to determine if they will be able to add value to the Alliance.
Pointing out that the Leaders Alliances are an effective way to bring the group’s experts together,” Block explained that: “Members can enjoy the advantages and benefits of being part of a large travel agency network while also experiencing the close-knit atmosphere of a small community through our Alliances. And because they are exclusive and not open to everyone, being a part of a Leaders Alliance holds significant value.”
Go to www.TravelLeadersNetwork.com for more
And stay tuned, there’ll be more on the Travel Leaders Network in an upcoming issue of Canadian Travel Press.
IN THE PHOTO
Seen from l to r, are John Lovell, Stephen McGillivray, Christine James, Roger Block and Cory Voss during a briefing session in Toronto on Feb. 7.